CLINTON — The Clinton Citizen Police Academy Alumni along with the Clinton Police Department and area businesses are sponsoring the second annual National Night Out event on the riverfront on Sunday.

National Night Out is a crime-prevention event aimed at promoting police-community partnerships, safety and neighborhood unity. Last year, more than 34 million people participated in National Night Out events in all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and on military bases around the world.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime program efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send the message to criminals that area neighborhoods are on watch for suspicious or illegal activity. The event is part of a national effort dedicated to setting aside one day to involve the community, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, area agencies and businesses to increase crime prevention awareness. The celebration is an alcohol and drug free-event.

The event will take place by the bandshell in Riverview Park from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday. This year’s Clinton National Night Out theme is “Neighbors Meeting Neighbors.” The NNO Planning Committee chose the theme because it is proven one of the best crime prevention efforts happen when neighbors watch out for each other.

The celebration will feature a number of activities and events, beginning in the afternoon with the Clinton LumberKings hosting National Night Out at Alliant Energy Field, along with the Children’s Miracle Network. The game against the Lansing Lugnuts begins at 2 p.m. LumberKings General Manager Ted Tornow said fans are in for a full evening of family fun.

“It should be a good game and a good night. We’re encouraging our fans to stick around after the game for the festivities,” said Tornow.

After the game, several activities are scheduled at Riverfront Park. Participants will be able to inspect various emergency vehicles including the Med Force helicopter, a Clinton Fire Department ladder truck and chief’s vehicle, the Clinton emergency response truck and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office rescue boat. A DARE officer will be on hand to fingerprint children for safety records. There will be games for children and the National Night Out Committee will be providing food and drink for visitors to enjoy as they walk around and take part in the various activities.

The event will feature visits from McGruff the Crime Dog, “Freddie the Fire Engine,” “Harvey” the police robot and Atina the Clown. Kids can enjoy inflatable games and pony rides or participate in numerous games provided by area agencies. Music at the celebration will be provided by the River City Municipal Band early in the evening and a local Disc Jockey for the remainder of the event.

In addition, the Riverview Pool will be open throughout the day but patrons from 5 to 8 p.m. can get in free with their library card.

National Night Out attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs to the event. The Clinton Police Department and Citizen Police Academy Alumni invite area residents to come to National Night Out in Riverview Park and enjoy the festivities. Capt. Chuck Witt of the Clinton Police Department said the daylong event is a great chance for area residents to meet their neighbors and community representatives, as well as have a lot of fun.

“It’s an opportunity for families to get together in a drug and alcohol-free environment and an opportunity for them to meet their neighbors,” Witt said. “There’s lots of things to do. It’s going to be a good night.”

Organizers hope the events will promote pride and awareness in individual neighborhoods.

Area citizens, whether attending the National Night Out events or not, are requested to turn on their outside lights at 9 p.m. during the National Night Out to show their support, get better acquainted with their neighbors and show neighborhood unity against crime.

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